Likely Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes is scheduled to attend a fundraiser in Washington next month with “special guest” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign has repeatedly sought to tie Grimes to Reid, D-Nev., and his 2008 comment that “coal makes us sick.”
Reid’s comment has already been highlighted in a number of ads run by McConnell allies, whose strategy for the 2014 U.S. Senate race is to portray Grimes as a liberal Democrat who would be a rubber stamp for Reid and President Barack Obama.
Senate leaders traditionally afford one another the courtesy of not campaigning for each other’s opponents, but the testy relationship between McConnell and Reid has at times tested that tradition.
In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd that aired on Sirius/XM, Reid said he planned to raise money for Grimes, but he said he will not campaign for her.
“I’ve done what I can to help Alison Grimes,” Reid said. “I’m going to do an event for her here in Washington, but I feel it would be wrong for me to say who’s going to win or lose. Of course, everybody knows I hope she wins. But, you know, I’m not going to get into that. And I’m not going to go campaign for her. She knows that I care about her, but no I’m not going to do that.”
When asked if he thought McConnell would hang on for the win, Reid said he didn’t know and that it would be “untoward for me to talk about Kentucky.”
Republicans are optimistic that they will win enough seats to claim the majority in the Senate for the first time since the 2006 elections.
The breakfast fundraiser at a Washington hotel is scheduled for June 5. A copy of the invitation was tweeted by Jon Ralston of the Nevada-based Ralston Reports.